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  1. #1
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    LANGALIST PLUS

    Fine-tune your Registry for faster startups


    By Fred Langa

    A little Registry maintenance and tweaking can make your system boot faster.

    In fact, free Registry tools can improve all your system's phases: startup, shutdown, and everything in between.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/02/11/04 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-20 at 15:05.

  2. #2
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    It seems that PageDefrag does not work on the 64-bit version of XP Professional.

    Are there any other utilities that can be used to defragment Registry hives?

    Thanks.

  3. #3
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    There are other methods of speeding up your machine's startup processes besides focusing in Windows.

    Usually your desktop or notebook will have a BIOS based Setup program. If you look in there, with a little luck there are several ways to cut down the BIOS time by up to 1/2.

    First, always make a note of the beginning settings. An easy method of doing this is to use your digital camera or cell phone.

    It's difficult to give exact things to try because each manufacturer has their own ways of designing their BIOS screens, but look for the following types of items. Try these settings one at a time and use a stopwatch to time your following boots.
    • - Most BIOSs have some type of Quick, Fast, Smart, or Quiet boot. Turn it on.
    • - Usually you boot from the same hard driver every time. Look for unused HDD, SATA, or IDE ports. Turn them off.
    • - Memory tests. Turn them off or set them to limited.
    • - If you have a PS/2 keyboard or a built-in keyboard on your notebook, turn off any USB Legacy settings. Of course, if you use USB keyboards or mice only, you will need them for setup later, so leave Legacy USB settings on.
    • - PCI settings. A few BIOSs will have methods of turning off unused PCI or PCIe ports. Do it.
    • - Boot settings. Always move your normal boot device to the top of the list. Just remember if you want to boot from a CD or USB device later, you will need to make a change. On most systems, this setting will help the most.


    Most BIOS Setup programs have some type of set to default. So if you set something strange and can't get back to the OS, you can usually enter Setup and press F9 (or something similar).

    Stay away from any Memory settings or CPU speed or any Voltage settings unless you know what you are doing. On some motherboards, It's actually possible to set these to a state that will prevent you from entering Setup to recover from bad settings.

  4. #4
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    >> Should Win7's standard compatibility mode fail to get the job done, you can use the new OS's heavy-duty compatibility engine: Microsoft's free "XP Mode" add-on

    I hate to disagree with you here, but this questioner asked about a "5- to 6-year-old systems that are getting long in the tooth". I don't think most 5-6 year old machines would have the required CPU Virtualization technology to run "XP Mode".

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Fred,

    You should emphasize that some defraggers are better than others. Some defraggers also move all the prefetch files to the front of the disk, the fastest part. The prefetch folder has data on the files that Windows needs to boot, and that your most frequently used programs use when you start them. The defragger will arrange them in the right order so that they can be loaded into memory even before the CPU calls for them. Examples of such defraggers are PerfectDisk, which costs about $30 (perfectdisk.com), and MyDefrag (mydefrag.com), which is free and customizable, although slower. I believe this disk optimization is more important than just defragging.

    In my experience, Windows should finish booting in less than 2 minutes. Try for 1:15 on a new machine. (I measure the time with my stopwatch, from pressing the power button, until the hard drive indicator stops flickering.)

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D L View Post
    It seems that PageDefrag does not work on the 64-bit version of XP Professional.

    Are there any other utilities that can be used to defragment Registry hives?

    Thanks.
    This costs money, but Auslogics Registry Defrag (15-day free trial; $19.95 to buy) claims to be capable of all of this. And the company (Auslogics) is very reputable. The technical word for this type of Registry defragmenting is "compacting" the Registry.

    http://www.auslogics...egistry-defrag/

    Solo Owl also makes some very good points, above.
    -- Bob Primak --

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Kevin- View Post
    >> Should Win7's standard compatibility mode fail to get the job done, you can use the new OS's heavy-duty compatibility engine: Microsoft's free "XP Mode" add-on

    I hate to disagree with you here, but this questioner asked about a "5- to 6-year-old systems that are getting long in the tooth". I don't think most 5-6 year old machines would have the required CPU Virtualization technology to run "XP Mode".
    You are correct, a PC that 'old' cannot use Windows 7 XP Mode because it's CPU does not support virtualization in hardware.

    I recently replaced my AMD FX-60 CPU with a Phenom II X4 one, along with the motherboard and RAM. The FX-60, which is a fine dual-core CPU, does not support virtualization in hardware and cannot run in XP Mode, even though the CPU is only four years old. My solution was to create an XP virtual machine inside Virtual PC to run the check-writing software Word 2000 add-in I prefer to use on those rare occasions I need paper checks.

    On a separate note, I prefer DOSBox to VirtualBox. I use it to run DOS-based games such as Daggerfall, Wizardry and Fantasy Empires on my PC when I'm feeling particularly nostalgic.

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